11 Apr '13, 8pm

Silicon Carbide Ready to Run the Rails

Silicon Carbide Ready to Run the Rails

Photo: CreativeCommons Super Subway: Tokyo's Ginza subway line is part of a trial to test what improvements silicon carbide circuits can make to transportation systems.
 If you rode the Ginza Line, Japan’s oldest subway line, in the past year, chances are you took part in the testing of a technology that could drastically boost the efficiency of rail systems. Since February 2012, one of the cars in a six-car train on that line has been equipped with a new kind of inverter, part of a circuit that turns the third rail’s alternating current into the direct current that the train’s motors need. The inverters are made from a material—silicon carbide —that the makers of power electronics are hoping will start a revolution. Silicon carbide (SiC) has a number of advantages over silicon, among them a wider energy bandgap that enables devices to run at temperatures as high as 600 ° ...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/devices/silicon-c...

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